Domestic Violence & Covid-19
Domestic Abuse During Lockdown
The Government has imposed a necessary lockdown to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease which has now become a global pandemic. For some families, this means working from home, home-schooling their children but in a loving environment. Not all people are that fortunate, there are families where domestic abuse occurs ...
Domestic violence cases have increased threefold in China during February in the midst of their coronavirus outbreak, compared to February last year.
Paris has also reported a very high increase in domestic violence during this global pandemic.
It goes without saying that domestic abuse will also increase significantly here in the UK during this period of lockdown. Given that we are being ordered to stay in our homes for at least three weeks, this will, of course, cause tensions to run high
What is domestic abuse?
Many people think of it as violence with slapping and punching, kicking their victim, pinning them down and effectively trapping them. You could be experiencing domestic abuse without even knowing it.
Domestic abuse can include belittling behaviour. This can often be deliberate acts to humiliate and ridicule the victim, constantly putting the victim down and also, making the victim blame themselves for the perpetrator's behaviour towards them.
Violence or Threats
Domestic abuse can include violence or threats. This can include the perpetrator having an extremely bad temper and making the victim fearful. Threatening to hurt or kill the victim are examples of this behaviour. Threats to take the victim’s children away from them and them never being able to see them again. If the victim wants to leave or indicates that they want to leave, making threats to commit suicide if the victim should leave.
A victim can be forced to have sex. This relates to married and unmarried persons. Even if you are married, this is known as marital rape. It is an act of aggression and domestic violence.
Coercive and Controlling Behaviour
Coercive and controlling behaviour can include acts of jealousy and possessiveness, isolating the victim from their friends and family; controlling what you do and where you go and constantly checking up on the victim, when they are at work or out with friends.
Limiting the victim’s access to money. This is financial abuse. Examples of this could be stealing money from the victim, insisting benefits are dealt with in the perpetrator’s name and the victim being unable to access those benefits. A victim could be prevented from working. Limiting the victim’s access to finances. Having to ask for money, these are all examples of financial abuse.
Are you affected?
Some people may be in an abusive relationship - and not realise it - and abusers will be given the power to typically manipulate any situation to their advantage. Many abused women and children have now lost their “escape” such as going to work or school.
For some, home is not a haven from violence and abuse.
Government advice is that if you do find yourself in an abusive relationship you should leave your home to seek solace at a Women’s Refuge. The Police are aware that Domestic Abuse cases will be on the rise and the force will continue to arrest perpetrators.
During this unprecedented crisis, here at Talbots our Family Law Department can assist and advise anybody who may be experiencing abuse. Our Team is also able to put you in touch with support and advise you on your position legally; we are able to obtain the relevant injunctions to protect you and your children from further harm.. We can assist in assessing whether you would be eligible for Legal Aid and if not, we would be able to discuss our fees with you. Our service continues even in this time of crisis.
Although our offices are closed, our Family team are all working remotely and you can contact them by phoning 0800 118 1500 or email Karen Gray
For more information please contact us